17 November 2009 (gig)
19 November 2009
As someone who wants to be considered a feminist, I REALLY need to get this out of the way: Les Plastiscines are utterly, bewitchingly beautiful. All of them.
Of course if usual rock 'n’ roll rules are to be applied this must mean that the band are either far too commercial or not very good. Most of the time it means they’ll be both of these things.
Les Plastiscines seemed to suffer from these preconceptions and the behaviour of the crowd merits mention. To begin with the few hundred people present stood still, staring and judging. The songs were good but were they good enough? Can she really be that beautiful? And her too?
In truth the band were playing an excellent show filled with catchy pop tunes in the style of The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Slits: if this had been an all male group we’d have been jumping around from the first strum of a guitar. Tonight, however, Les Plastiscines had to prove to the particularly trendy crowd that they were more than just very pretty faces.
And my how they proved it. Potential hit after potential hit were sent out from the slower-than-expected 'Bitch’ to the infectious 'Barcelona’. A rowdy cover of Nancy Sinatra’s 'These Boot Are Made For Walking’ got everyone singing along and was a major catalyst for the change in the audiences' attitude.
Half way through the gig foot tapping and gawping was vanquished by a non-violent mosh pit: people had decided this was too good a gig to just stand and stare. The change was charged with meaning when one (thankfully light and short) scenester decided to get on his mate’s shoulders to show his appreciation. In a venue of the Barfly’s size this is massively inappropriate – and inconsiderate – but, because of the band, it felt like a strong anti-patriarchal statement.
By the end of gig it was clear that the band had proved their point and, luckily for me I had a highly-scientific method of testing this: my partially sighted friend. 'What do you think?' I asked him. 'Brilliant’ was his blurry-sighted reply.